By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The University of Mississippi Amateur Radio Club and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi will conduct a class Saturday for anyone interested in becoming a ham radio operator.
The Amateur Radio Technician License class will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by the license test at 3:30, in the hospital’s cafeteria conference room.
Ham radio operators use their medium to meet people nationwide and even worldwide, both for fun and as a public service.
“General and extra licensees have access to the high-frequency radio spectrum,” said David Shaw, Lafayette County emergency management coordinator. “With those, you don’t have to have a series of repeaters and towers; they can talk virtually around the world with just their home radio system.”
It’s in emergency situations that ham radio shows its value. UMARC President Larry Brown said the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a prime example.
“Ham operators could bring in their own equipment to set up communications in areas where there was no power, no cell phones, no traditional communications,” he said. “A ham operator, if he brings his radio equipment and generator, all he’s got to do is get a wire in a tree or in the air.”
Those far away also serve by communicating with radio operators in disaster zones, then using conventional communications to get messages to family members of those affected.
Price for the class is $15, and participants are urged to buy the appropriate American Radio Relay League manual in advance at www.arrl.org.
To register, call Michael Namorato at (662) 236-7817. For more information, visit www.W5UMS.org, www.ARRL. org or www.ARRLMISS.org.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.